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Verdict in Sands Macau casino case at $102M and counting

The judge who presided over the legal dispute between Las Vegas Sands and a Hong Kong businessman has affirmed the jury’s verdict against the casino. The judge upheld the $70 million in damages that the jury ordered Sands to pay and added 5.25 percent in interest, calculated daily, since the plaintiff first sued Sands in 2004.

That works out to about $8,400 per day, every day, for around nine years — a total of $31.6 million. This verdict, which Sands is appealing, is an example of what a business could sometimes face if it decides takes a business dispute to trial.

We have discussed this employment dispute several times in this blog, but to recap: Sands was seeking to expand its business to the Chinese gambling island of Macau. The plaintiff says that Sands agreed to pay him a fee plus two percent of future revenue if he helped persuade the Chinese government to grant a casino license to the business.

Sands later acquired a license in partnership with another company. The plaintiff claimed that his work led to that license but that Sands never paid him. Sands contended that the plaintiff did not live up to his end of the contract so he was owed nothing.

The trial ended earlier in May with a verdict for the plaintiff. Jurors ordered Sands to pay $70 million to the plaintiff, who had sought as much as $328 million, including interest. The judge did not grant him that much, but added $31.6 million. Sands is appealing the verdict.

Source: Las Vegas Sun, “Judge instructs Las Vegas Sands to pay businessman $102 million,” May 29, 2013

John P. Aldrich
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